Decorating Rooms with High Ceilings

Decorating rooms with high ceilings can at first seem quite challenging. When met with a vast amount of space and seemingly infinite possibilities it’s understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed! However with a bit of creativity and by following some simple guidelines, you can use this space to good effect to create something that is unique and beautiful.

In all honesty there are no fixed rules in interior design. As long as you keep in mind the overall picture of how everything fits together, you can be free to let your imagination take over. To give you a few hints, here’s our guide on decorating rooms with high ceilings to help get you started.

Use the rule of thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a term that most photographers and artists will be familiar with. We can apply this rule to interior design by splitting the room into three horizontal sections. Each section represents a different design level and you can choose different ways to decorate each level to make things visually interesting.

Get the effect of the rules of thirds in your home

To get the rule of thirds effect you should pair the middle section with either the top or bottom section and keep a common feature between these levels (perhaps colour). Then for the final section do something a bit different to provide a contrasting effect.

In practice, to do this you could use wall panelling for the bottom section and then wallpaper or a block of colour for the middle, then keep the top level bare.  For separating the middle and bottom section, panel railings are a great option for creating a bold visual divide.  Cornice or coving is a great way to finish off this look and bridge the join between wall and ceiling, although this should be painted in an appropriate colour to match the top section to complete the effect.


Use lighting to make a visual statement

Lighting can be very effective for making a bold statement, especially hanging light fittings and grand chandeliers. This provides visual interest for high ceilings and draws the eye upwards. It’s also worth noting in large open plan spaces, this type of lighting can be used to divide up the kitchen, living and dining areas.

Decorate the ceiling with ceiling roses, centres and domes

Ceiling roses are really great for adding that extra bit of grandeur to a light fitting to make it really stand out. In a room with a high ceiling this provides a focal point which is exactly what you need. Ceiling roses or centres come in many different styles with various circular, symmetrical patterns often including floral decoration.


Ceiling domes are used to serve the same decorative purpose, you can choose from either inverted or mounted to give different effects. On the whole ceiling roses are more recommended for period properties aiming for a more traditional style, whereas ceiling domes are more suited to contemporary interiors.


Uplighting and down lighting

Uplighting and down lighting are other forms of lighting that can be placed at various levels to great effect in rooms with high walls. There are various different types of uplighting and down lighting from single beams to uplighting troughs which are a type of coving that project light towards the ceiling and there are also down-lighters which direct light onto the floor. These both have the effect of creating atmosphere and setting a mood particularly in rooms with high ceilings.


You could also choose coloured lighting if you’re going for a modern ambient lighting effect. Be sure to choose a shade that fits in with your décor.

Add texture to the ceiling with tiling

Ceilings can seem quite plain if left bare, but if you want to make them more visually appealing then why not consider ceiling tiling? This adds texture to the ceiling and depending on the style you go for, can help make the room feel smaller and more cosy. If you’re planning to use tiling on a high ceiling you can create a nice contrast by keeping the walls plainer and using block colour. This way the room does not feel too busy and there are less elements fighting for attention.


What to avoid

Although as we’ve mentioned there are no fixed rules, when decorating rooms with high ceilings always remember the key concept that less is more. This means that you should avoid clutter and decorating the room with lots of small objects and furnishings. Instead keep it minimal and go for fewer but larger items of furniture. Of course interior design is a matter of taste and the only way you can find out what works and what doesn’t is by experimenting.